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  • But, first up, breaking news,

  • "sit" just got real.

  • CHARLIE ROSE: Chaos in Congress as House Democrats

  • stage an all-night sit-in to push for a vote on gun control.

  • This was dramatic, like nothing we have ever seen before.

  • MAN: We're in uncharted territory now.

  • We certainly have not had members, uh,

  • sleeping overnight in protest.

  • This historic protest that lasted for more than 24 hours...

  • Yes. It turns out the best way to get something done

  • in Congress is by sitting on your ass.

  • But jokes aside, what happened yesterday was unprecedented.

  • House Democrats, so frustrated with their inability

  • to even get a vote on two gun reform bills, uh,

  • including one supported by 90% of the population,

  • staged a sit-in of a magnitude unseen in modern history.

  • Yeah. But that didn't mean

  • that they couldn't have a little fun while they were doing it.

  • JONATHAN KARL: It went on throughout the night,

  • the House floor sometimes looking like

  • a rowdy slumber party.

  • WOMAN: Lawmakers bringing in pizza, late night snacks,

  • cell phone chargers, even blankets and pillows

  • and giving each other neck massages.

  • (cheering)

  • MAN: Representative Cleaver of Missouri,

  • he had a large pink and white striped pillow

  • and he said that he was prepared to spend the night.

  • You know that congressman has been saving that pillow, right?

  • You know he's been having that pillow.

  • You can't just pop out and buy a pink and white striped pillow.

  • That's not how it works.

  • The guy's been waiting forever for this moment.

  • Every time he's been in Congress, like, "And now?

  • "No? Okay, okay. Okay.

  • "How about now? Oh, no, no, no.

  • "Obamacare... No? Oh, man, looks like it's...

  • "Sit-in! Finally!

  • "Yeah! Now I get to use my pillow

  • and my matching blazer."

  • (laughter)

  • Why does it match?

  • Man, 25 hours.

  • Can you imagine 25 hours just sitting there together?

  • And I'm sure the first couple of hours were cordial, you know.

  • But after, like, hour five,

  • people probably started to let loose.

  • You know, let a fart slip here and there. Yeah.

  • It's 25 hours.

  • And someone's like, "What is that smell?"

  • "Republican (bleep)!"

  • (laughter)

  • Now...

  • Now the congressman leading yesterday's sit-in

  • was none other than Georgia representative

  • and famed Civil Rights protester John Lewis.

  • MAN: John Lewis, uh, the congressman,

  • the Civil Rights icon who helped lead the sit-in.

  • Best known, uh, for the work he did

  • during the Civil Rights era,

  • leading the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

  • WOMAN: In the 1960s, he led sit-ins demanding an end

  • to segregation.

  • That's right, that's right.

  • This is what John Lewis does.

  • He's been sitting in for decades.

  • Now, he knows that when you want something, you sit in for it.

  • Gun control vote-- you sit in.

  • Civil Rights-- you sit in.

  • Opening night tickets for Star Wars: Episode VII--

  • you sit in.

  • (laughter)

  • (imitating Yoda): Hmm!

  • Marched with King, I have.

  • Overcome, we shall.

  • (laughter)

  • (normal voice): Now, for me, uh, the biggest winner

  • of all last night, was C-SPAN

  • because, you see, a big part of the story

  • is that the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan,

  • ordered C-SPAN's cameras turned off

  • which meant the world couldn't see the Democrats' protest.

  • But it seems Paul Ryan forgot what year it is.

  • There are no cameras inside and there are no microphones

  • because the House is not officially in session,

  • so C-SPAN cannot be on.

  • MAN: Members of Congress are capturing live video

  • on Periscope and other social media outlets

  • and now C-SPAN, the cable channel,

  • is actually broadcasting those Periscope streams.

  • (laughter)

  • This is so insane.

  • C-SPAN was broadcasting Periscope.

  • I haven't seen old and young work that well together

  • since the first Karate Kid.

  • I don't even know... what...

  • Broadcast on, broadcast off.

  • (laughter)

  • I mean, cable TV promoting technology

  • that will someday replace it.

  • That's like candles being like,

  • "Hey, have you heard about lightbulbs?

  • Wow. Wow."

  • And, by the way, uh, Periscope wasn't the representatives

  • first choice, but Snapchat, unfortunately,

  • didn't have the same gravitas for them.

  • -It just didn't work... -Debate it and vote.

  • And people can be free to vote

  • whatever way they choose to.

  • But our Constitution says...

  • They should've used the protest filter.

  • So the Democrats won out

  • and were able to broadcast the sit-in,

  • uh, you know, to the American people and, as we all know,

  • with great power comes a handful of representatives

  • who don't know what the hell Periscope is.

  • (laughter)

  • Oh, man.

  • Oh, that guy is so cute.

  • And... and impressive.

  • How many people can say they've used Periscope, the app,

  • and an actual periscope?

  • How many people can say that?

  • But he's right, though.

  • He is right. I will say this.

  • You see, the reason the NRA has so much influence

  • in Congress is not just because of their money,

  • but it's because their most vocal members

  • call Congress all the time and right now,

  • you're probably, like, that's a good idea.

  • I'll tweet them.

  • No, no, that's not going to work.

  • E-mails don't work.

  • Look, see that phone that you probably have

  • in your hand right now... maybe you didn't even know this,

  • but there's actually a phone app on it...

  • (laughter)

  • ...and if you move the phone from here to here,

  • you can call your congressperson with your voice.

  • And maybe you're, like, "(scoffs) Trevor,

  • that's something only old people would do."

  • Yeah, your congressperson is old.

  • That's why it's the only thing that works.

  • So, basically last night, Congress had a slumber party

  • and as with any slumber party,

  • it was only a matter of time before lame Dad breaks it up.

  • The chair would hope that the business of the House

  • could be conducted in a fashion that represe...

  • -that respects positively -(chanting): No bill, no break!

  • on the dignity and the decorum of this institution

  • -to which we all belong. -(chanting continues)

  • -Poor Dad. -(laughter)

  • That's a man who was like, "Yeah, sure, honey, uh,

  • "you can have a slumber party.

  • "What is it, 20, 25 girls?

  • How crazy can it get?"

  • (forced laughing)

  • "I'm going to kill myself."

  • Now, many people saw this as an act of protest,

  • you know, civil disobedience,

  • a plea to do something about guns in America.

  • Paul Ryan, well, um, he saw it another way.

  • This isn't trying to come up with a solution to a problem,

  • this is trying to get attention.

  • This is nothing more than a publicity stunt.

  • Uh, yeah.

  • That's exactly what a political protest is.

  • That's what they are-- they're publicity stunts.

  • When the colonists threw all the tea in the Boston Harbor,

  • no one said "That's just a publicity stunt.

  • You can't have a tea party without cucumber sandwiches."

  • But if anything, if anything, the one place

  • you can criticize the Democrats is using the sit-in

  • as an opportunity to fundraise for their campaigns.

  • Which, to be honest, is pretty (bleep).

  • You know? When you're up on the moral high ground,

  • it's not cool to be looking for money. That's not the time.

  • You know? That's like Martin Luther King going,

  • "I have a dream, I have a dream" and someone else is like,

  • "Yes, Dr. King has a dream, and for $500

  • you can turn that dream into a reality."

  • So, af... over 24 hours,

  • the Democrats finally stood down.

  • Paul Ryan and the Republicans, uh, never did allow a vote

  • on the gun reform measures.

  • And the reason why, as one Republican congressman put it

  • last night, is that they didn't want

  • to surrender to legislative blackmail.

  • But essentially, their argument is this.

  • And that is: this isn't how the House works. All right?

  • In the House, the majority party decides what bills

  • come up for a vote, and if they gave in just because Democrats

  • were causing a scene, it would set a dangerous precedent.

  • Yeah. You'd have random congress people doing sit ins,

  • you know, all the time for every little vote

  • that they wanted, which is ridiculous.

  • The seats of their pants would start to wear out

  • from all the sitting, and you'd end up

  • with a bunch of old white dudes in assless pants.

  • Nobody wants that. I get it. I get it.

  • Although I do wonder-- if Republicans say a loud minority

  • shouldn't be allowed to control Congress,

  • then why do they let the NRA do it?

  • And let's not forget...

  • let's not forget in 2008,

  • when Republicans were in the minority,

  • they pulled a similar stunt. Because they wanted a vote

  • on expanded oil drilling and then Democrats blocked it,

  • so they also staged a protest.

  • And that's fine, people, because protesting is a valid way

  • to make an important point.

  • For Democrats, the point was that Americans

  • don't want over 32,000 people to die every year

  • of gun violence. And for Republicans is that

  • we want to drill more holes in the ground.

  • Both equally valid issues.

  • And look, Republicans do have a point, though.

  • Responding to this pressure by allowing a vote

  • could break the system.

  • But let's face it, the system is already broken.

  • The people elect congressmen to represent their will.

  • And right now, by refusing to hold votes on a bill

  • that's supported by 90% of the American people,

  • the GOP is ignoring that will. And so the Democrats

  • are just trying to shock the system back into working.

  • You know? It's sort of like, like what you do

  • if you-you put a dollar into a vending machine

  • and you're trying to get a Kit Kat and then your Kit Kat

  • gets stuck in the coil thing. You are well within your rights

  • to smack the (bleep) out of that machine.

  • Yeah. You get in there

  • and you smack the (bleep) out of that machine.

  • And if Paul Ryan comes along and says, "Uh, excuse me,

  • that's rather uncalled for, uh..." You'd be like,

  • "Yeah, who gives a (bleep)? That's my (bleep) Kit Kat

  • in there and I'm gonna get it out."

  • (cheering, applause)

  • And if I may-- one more thing about Paul Ryan himself--

  • the problem with Paul Ryan...

  • Hey, guys. So, it looks like, uh, Paul Ryan

  • managed to shut our cameras off,

  • so I'm coming to you live from Periscope,

  • and I encourage every one of you to join me

  • and let your voices be heard. Thank you so much.

  • Because that's what democracy is all about, people.

  • That's what it's all about, and... Thank you.

  • I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

  • Democracy is supposed to represent

  • the will of the people, right? And... Wh...

  • That's true, that's true-- pandas are indeed soft.

  • Thanks for chiming in. Anyway, it's designed

  • to represent the will of the people.

  • I-I don't know...

  • I don't where your garlic bread is,

  • and please don't call me "betch." That's not cool.

  • Any... When a democratic government

  • fails to listen to what the peop...